Got out of the house this afternoon and met friends in an area of the city that has a large Indian population (continent of, not Native American). It's a little like taking a trip to that area of the world without having to sit on a plane for hours-- women walk down the street in colorful saris and salwar kameez, video stores are plastered with posters of various Bollywood stars, and the grocery stores have more pre-packaged curry than they do Lean Cuisines.
We all bought food at one of the grocery stores-- I now have masoor dal, split mung beans, fresh ginger, whole mustard seeds, and four different packages of premade curries-- 99 cents each! A good deal, as each is two meals if you add in a bit of chicken or a salad. (Look at me, being all budgety and stuff.) I was seriously tempted by an absolutely glorious pair of earrings, but due to the "being all budgety" (and also knowing that I've got a deductible to meet from last Thursday's fun and games), I walked away. Entertainingly enough, they thought I was trying to bargain, and by the time I left the price was about $100 less than it had been originally. When I go back, now I know how flexible prices are. Or aren't.
After shopping, we ate lunch; it was probably the best Indian food I've ever had-- fresh and delicious and perfectly cooked. We got four or five different dishes and shared, and all of us brought enough food home for at least one more meal apiece. Yum.
It was a gorgeous sunny day, and a nice escape from what has been a grim couple of weeks. This is a terrific city, and I'm ashamed that it's taken me so long to get to this particular neighborhood. It certainly won't be so long before I go back.